Gaming News Canada Newsletter Ends, But Will Evolve Further Into Podcasting

Written By Dave Briggs on March 1, 2024 - Last Updated on March 4, 2024
Typewriter with a page that has the Gaming News Canada logo at the top and the symbol - 30 - underneath that indicates the end of a story. A large red stamp reads:

An institution of the media covering Canadian online gambling has published its last newsletter. But editor Steve McAllister said Gaming News Canada is evolving, not closing shop.

GNC published its final newsletter on Thursday after a three-year run. But McAllister told PlayCanada the media outlet is “highly committed” to producing one-to-two podcasts per week to continue its in-depth coverage of the Canadian gambling industry.

Gaming News Canada has long had a weekly live interview show. The show began on X before moving to LinkedIn audio (where it is heard most Thursdays at 1 p.m. ET). In September of 2022, GNC began turning those shows into on-demand podcasts.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to sit down and spend a little bit more time with executives and regulators and other decision-makers across all sectors of the industry,” McAllister said of the podcast.

“That’s the format that I’ve come to enjoy through the LinkedIn Audio experience and having guests on the show. So, we’re committed to continue doing that. And we’re also keeping our social media accounts. I’m going to be very active on that. We’re going to keep following the industry.”

Gaming News Canada Show is a podcast hosted by Steve McAllister
The Gaming News Canada Show is a podcast hosted by Steve McAllister

Two reasons Gaming News Canada is folding its newsletter

The Gaming News Canada newsletter was popular in the industry for its timely reporting, list of people movements, job openings in the sector and strong aggregation of important gambling stories produced by other outlets such as PlayCanada.

“That was the strength of the newsletter, it was an aggregation,” McAllister said. “And then that became a bit of a two-headed animal. It takes a lot of work to do that aggregation. I work on the weekends to keep track on the coverage and aggregate those links. But, I think that was the secret to publication — people just being able to go to one place.”

McAllister said there are two main reasons the Parleh Media Group that owns and operates Gaming News Canada has decided to stop publishing the newsletter.

“One is just on a personal note, I want to slow down a little bit,” McAllister said. “The newsletter has been a labour of love, but it’s also been a lot of labour. The past three years, a lot of work goes into the aggregation and keeping track of the work that other people do, and then just the actual original reporting that I’ve tried to do… And then it’s been disappointing that it’s really been a struggle to get the kind of sponsorship and advertising revenue that I think what we do deserves.”

McAllister proud GNC gave a platform to journalists covering gambling industry

McAllister is a veteran Canadian sports journalist. Three years ago, he was approached by Mark Silver, the founder and CEO of the Parleh Media Group, about starting a newsletter covering the Canadian gambling industry.

In January 2021, eight months before single-event sports betting was legalized in Canada, The Parleh newsletter was born. The name was a Canadian twist on parlay, eh.

Later, that name was changed to Gaming News Canada.

McAllister said he is deeply proud of the publication.

“Hopefully, it has given a platform to journalists who cover the industry. I think one of the secrets of this industry is how well it’s covered. It’s kind of funny to have this conversation when I see sports departments shrinking not just in Canada but around around the world. And we actually have a pretty thriving industry covering the gambling business, although I know that there are challenges with that as well. But there’s an awful lot of good work that goes into covering this industry. And one of the things I’m most proud of is, hopefully, I’ve been able to highlight that work a little bit.”

He said he has received a lot of really nice emails and messages since the last newsletter was announced.

“Some of the writing is corny and there are a lot of dad jokes and ’70s videos, but the feedback I would always get is that people kind of enjoyed the folksy voice to the newsletter,” McAllister said.

“And I think I’m lucky that the newsletter wasn’t held to the same standards, when it comes to writing, as I would have been if I was still at the Globe & Mail or the Canadian Press. But, the journalistic principles still applied. I think people thought we can be irreverent and have some fun and be entertaining, but at the same time, hopefully, educate people or keep people informed about what was going on in Canada around sports betting and the gaming industry and become like a one stop destination.”

Along the way, McAllister said the Gaming News Canada newsletter became a passion project.

“What really became that labour of love I talked about earlier is just building relationships with people in the industry by email and going to conferences and summits and kind of earning the trust of people. … It got my journalistic juices going again,” he said.

Photo by PlayCanada
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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in Canada with emphasis on the casino, sports betting and horse racing sectors. He is currently reporting on the gaming industries in Canada and Michigan.

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